Wednesday, 31 May 2017


I have yet to see a full game from the Stanley Cup Final this season. Monday night saw me umpiring when the Penguins won Game One, and I was out on the ball diamond again in the umpire gear as the Penguins and Predators battled in Game Two. The Penguins were victorious both times that I was umpiring, pushing their record to 5-0 in these playoffs when I have been umpiring including tonight's game. I'm no believer in the Butterfly Effect, but the coincidence is now part of the chatter in the officials' room at the ball diamond.

I attribute the Penguins' success with my umpiring schedule as purely coincidence because whatever I do in Canada has little effect on anything outside the ball diamond. It simply isn't how reality works. What does work, however, is finding Jake Guentzel with the puck and letting him go to work as the Penguins rookie is rewriting the record books this postseason.

In 94 AHL and NHL games this season including playoffs, Guentzel has lit the lamp 49 times. His game-winning goal tonight sets a new mark for rookies in the postseason with five, breaking the record once held by Claude Lemieux and Chris Drury. His twelve goals this postseason leads the NHL, and he on track to become the first rookie to lead the NHL in goal-scoring in the playoffs in history. What Guentzel is doing in this postseason is rather remarkable.

On the other side of the coin, Pekka Rinne's Stanley Cup Final has been entirely forgettable. He has allowed 8 goals on 34 shots, he was pulled tonight for backup Juuse Saros, and he's been rather mediocre in both games thus far. The Rinne we saw that shut-out Chicago twice on United Center ice is not the Rinne we're seeing now, and his play has the Predators down 2-0 in this series.

It's late, I'm home late, and I need some sleep. The Penguins are up 2-0 in this series, and I'm enjoying every second of it. The series switches to Smashville on Saturday which will be unlike anything we've seen this postseason as the entire city of Nashville turns into Predators fans. The fans could play a major difference in this series, and could help save the Predators' Stanley Cup Final if they're loud and boisterous enough. Of course, they'll need to Rinne to make a few save as well.

Here's looking forward to Saturday.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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